Geoffrey Blainey Penguin Random House

In this masterwork, Blainey deftly traces Australia’s history over the past two centuries. Central themes and events covered in the book include: The collision between the very strong masculine and very strong feminist traditions within Australia as an unusual and formative feature of our history. The rocky road to Federation and the later clash between the big outer states and the Hume Highway states. The varied impacts of WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War on Australian society. The evolution of our political tradition, and the rise and then proportional fall of religion and its influence. Our pioneering obsession with spectator sport and its central role in shaping Australian nationalism. The Gold Rush of the 19th Century and the mining boom of the 21st. Indigenous history and the evolution of Aboriginal rights in Australia. The challenges and opportunities of modern Australia – should we be optimistic or cautious?